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Chap 2.7 - Brick 3frangles 13/Writer's Bricks 

            A Starbooks cashier frowned as she glanced at the psychotic novelist in the corner who'd taken a seat, failed to order, and begun talking to a lifeless padlock he'd placed on the table.  He hadn't been there a minute and already she was standing close to the phone ready to call 911 if he tried to molest or murder any of the customers with it.  She got the surreal feeling that if the padlock had actually been sentient in any way that it probably would have thought it just as odd as she did that it was being talked to by a psychotic novelist.
            "Do you ever get the feeling it just never ends?"
            The lock said nothing because it could not talk.  But, if it did, it probably would have rhetorically commented on the ironic uselessness of asking an inanimate object how it feels when it fails to achieve its main objective, since the lock's current objective was to make sure Skip finished the first chapter of his novel no matter what the cost.  Skip took this rhetorical silence as an equally valuable substitute response.
            " 'Chapter One: Bending the Rules of the Writer's Pad Lock: The Chapter That Should Have Ended 3 Hours Ago But Didn't Because My Own Writer Is Too !@#$ing Chicken to Wrap my Story Up or Kill Me Off.' "  A dozen crumpled-up pages lay on the coffee table between Skip and the nearest person who was annoyed with him, and another dozen lay rolled onto the ground.  The bookstaffian who had long since tagged their cleanup onto his job description for the day sighed and tossed them all into the trash can for the sixth time in the past hour.
            "Too wordy."  Crumple.  Toss.  " 'Chapter One: The Padlock Who Was Eventually Thrown Into The Fires Of Mordor For Its Cruel Oppression of the People.' "  The lock didn't budge, or even wiggle, as it had resolved over an hour ago to tolerate Skip's insults whose sheer numbers over the past few hours alone were starting to push themselves into being cliche above and beyond monotonous.  Skip's anger toward the lock had continually magnified when for the first time in his life, he'd somehow manage to brainstorm a fantastic book structure, but was defeated in not being able to write a bit of it down, because none of it had had anything to do with Chapter One.
            3 times since he'd met the lock, a series of characters and settings and themes had lined up in his mind in crystal clarity.  All he would have had to do is write like mad and scribble the entire mess out, and he would have had several entire plot outlines to guide his writing by now.  Instead, the moment he put his pen to paper with the slightest intention of brainstorming or outlining, he was given the strongest jolt of psychoelectric static the pad lock was capable of forcing him to hallucinate given the 15 expressos in his system.  The shocks had taken a toll on his sanity, and were now pushing him into a deeper psychosis than that of talking to a lifeless lock.  It was a fantastic state for his writing, but not so fantastic for eluding the padlock's monarchy, which used this well-won instability to enforce its unwritten writing law upon him even further.
            Ironically -- or perhaps appropriately -- the mental shocks he was getting from the thing had the added effect of completely purging the outline visions from his mind whenever he came up with one.  The pain seemed to outlast the inspirations, and the ensuing headache left them a faint memory.  This was probably Mr. Lock's plan all along, since the only thing Skip had left to do after that was write out "Chapter One" again and stare at the page some more (The pad lock had finally allowed Skip to do this the moment he actually intended to turn the page for this purpose sans any deceptive intentions.  In the past few hours since meeting Skip, the lock had achieved the equivalent of a bachelor's in writer's psychology, and its dominant rule over chapter generation was no less unestablished.  It almost seemed as if he'd developed outright telepathy).
            "Nope."  Skip crumpled up the paper and--to be considerate--whipped it directly at his dedicated garbage man who'd resolved to spend the rest of the night sitting in another chair and waiting for Skip's crumpled pages to be thrown.
            Finally, after a great passage of time, Skip began to have ideas for his chapter but the exact same piss-annoying problems.  The expressos had molded his brain into a wild whirlwind of fleeting possibilities, each a distracted leaf that floated entertained for just a few moments before giving up and whimming itself another way.  The frustration became unbearable.  Leaf after leaf would hover then flee, hover then flee.  It was not the leaves at fault, but the windy writer's storm, which showed no sign of relenting.  Skip had only one choice.  He snatched the triple black-eyed French roast death frappuccino--a dark hell roast coffee with nine shots of quadruple expresso--and held it outward toward the garbage employee without looking up from his notebook.  It was taken from his hand, and in a perfect moment of clarity as the stimulant buzz was beginning to wear off, Skip had the best vifa idea he'd ever had in his relatively short life as a Flutonian friter.  Before he'd even spoken it aloud, the notepad lock--out of a now thoroughly developed and honed intuition of Skip's moods--sensed something was up, and was already at full attention once again.
            "I shall write the story of my life!"  Skip figured he could fictionalize everything that had happened to him since his first memory that morning, and it wouldn't be very hard work at all, nor would he fail to know where to go with the story.  Since it wasn't very long ago (by Flutonian standards anyway), it might not have been enough to fill up a whole book (never mind a thrilling page turner), but if staring at blank pages for hours on end wasn't enough to teach you about drawing things out infinitely longer than they needed to be, what ever could?
            Now the writer's pad lock seemed worried.  Very worried.  Its first thought was to enforce its usual will-dominance and use some sort of psychic shock to knock Skip unconscious, but then it dawned on itself that Skip might have begun on an endeavor falling entirely within the rules, however offensive to the general art of creative writing.  Indeed, it seemed totally normal for someone to write a story based on true events, especially since writing seemed to be something that stemmed from a writer's own heart and soul and experiences.  And Skip of course really hadn't lived much at all since he'd popped into existence at 1:11 that morning, which was probably part of the cause of Skip's abysmal writer's block in the first place.
            Therefore, what objection could there possibly be to Skip's intentions for a plot as long as he didn't plagiarize the day word for word?  The pad lock nodded as it concluded that that, then, was probably the very thing Skip was most likely to do.  Hence it had an important job to prevent the intended fiction from turning into a blatant biography.
            Although, at the opposite pole, the lock considered, Skip putting it on guard for word for word plagiarism might be a ploy to go entirely off topic without getting caught.  This, then, was the other thing the lock decided its job would be to look out for.  Of course, there was the additional concern that the duality created some other unseen danger the lock couldn't figure out or plan to guard against, so this, too, was something to look out for.
            In this gray and poorly defined approach to the medium of prose prone to loopholes and lax objectivity, the lock had its toughest job yet.  It tightened its loopy locked jaw and steeled itself with a firm resolve to do its absolute best, to the full extent that a  placebo-esque inanimate object was capable of doing anything.
            Skip began.

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